Cosplay—"costume play"—is a staple of conventions dedicated to any aspect of geek culture. If you attend a show celebrating comic books, games, anime, sci-fi, or all of the above, you can expect to see a deluge of character costumes on the show floor. Some of these costumes are simple, while others are insanely complex.
Cosplay is a much more mainstream pursuit now than it was even ten years ago, but it still might earn you a side-eye. There's one slice of the year when it's 100% socially acceptable to dress up, however: Halloween.
If you're shy about cosplaying outside October and you want a kick-ass gaming-related costume for Halloween, here's a handful of ideas that are easy to cobble together (if you can't just buy them off the shelf). From mainstream costumes to more obscure fare, let's get spooky with video games.
Mario's been a mainstay of Halloween since the '80s, so it's no surprise there are tons of pre-assembled costumes you can grab off Amazon. For example:
If you're a do-it-yourselfer, you can put together a decent costume with some accessories:
You can use the overalls and boots outside of Halloween, too. Mama mia, that's-a sensible cosplay!
Ezio (Assassin's Creed)
Ezio cosplayers are plentiful at conventions. It's not hard to see why: That sleek coat, cape, and hood combination are pretty bad-ass. Ezio (or any assassin from the Assassin's Creed series) is a complex cosplay to cobble together from scratch, especially if you're short on time. Thankfully:
- Spirit has a full Ezio costume ready to go outside the package
- Pair it with a hidden blade gauntlet if you're feeling stabby.
Celebrate the release of Assassin's Creed Origins in style.
Link (The Legend of Zelda)
Everyone has The Legend of Zelda on the brain thanks to the launch of Breath of the Wild earlier this year, but Link is generally a very popular and easily-to-assemble costume. There are options galore, including:
- This pricey but handsome ensemble
- This less detailed but more affordable option
- The blue tunic from Breath of the Wild
- Princess Zelda isn't a bad costume, either
Looking to throw something together on your own? You'll need:
Futaba (Persona 5)
Futaba is a bit more obscure than Link or Mario, but Persona 5's most beloved shut-in was very popular at conventions over the summer. You can acquire the hardest part of her costume, her coat, at a decent price from costume makers. From there, get:
A sentai character figurine collection is optional.
Sonic the Hedgehog
This is a fun costume because it has the potential to be cool or horrifying. Take care: There is no in-between with Sonic. For example:
- this Sonic costume for women is adorable, but
- this Frankenstein Sonic costume for children is literally a monkey suit with "spikes" sewn to it.
- Feeling brave? Commit to the Sonic skin experience
Too much of an emotional investment? I don't blame you for thinking so. If you want an easy-peasy costume, try this:
Notcis (Final Fantasy XV)
Final Fantasy XV's princely protagonist was another popular choice at conventions this year. Most Final Fantasy characters wear complex ensembles (makes you wonder what they do when they need to go to the bathroom in a hurry, but whatever), so even a seemingly "simple" character like Noctis is hard to put together from scratch.
Cloud (Final Fantasy VII)
Cloud is arguably the most popular Final Fantasy cosplay subject out there. While he isn't as mainstream as Mario or Sonic, more than a few party-goers are guaranteed to recognize you. As with Noctis, it's not a bad idea to go with a pre-made costume for this one.
Capcom's azure Super Fighting Robot is another very recognizable cosplay, and a costume isn't too difficult to put together (whereas I imagine actually building Mega Man took Dr Light a few years). Here's what you need:
- A helmet
- You can opt for a plush variation if you're on a budget
- a Buster Gun
- Again—there's a plush variant that's more affordable.
- Slap on a blue body suit
- Oh yeah—don't forget the dark blue spandex underwear. Tee hee.
Team Skull Grunt (Pokémon Sun / Pokémon Moon)
I can't even begin to tell you how many Team Skull grunts I saw at conventions across the summer. Billions, I figure. If you want to spend Halloween as one of these disposable Pokémon villains—and why wouldn't you—assembling a costume isn't hard. You just need: